It might be better to express a negative opinion if that gives you more to say.

What would you do if you were asked in an interview to talk about how you feel about your hometown if in fact you really disliked living there?

Some people might think that by being truthful in this situation and giving a negative answer that this would not be the right thing to do and instead you should lie and talk about how you love living there to give a more positive sounding answer.

Actually, truthfulness is not important and neither is giving a negative opinion of something. The important thing is that you have something to express. If you have more to say by being truthful, even if it is expressing a negative opinion, then that is what you should talk about.

It would be much better to say “Actually I don’t really like my hometown….” and follow it up with your reasons for disliking it than to say “I like my hometown…” and then struggle to find anything to say.

In this video you will see how Joao deals with this situation in the best way.



Hi, I have a doubt related to this matter. Let´s say that the interviewer asks me to talk about types of trees, and I don´t feel comfortable with the subject, since I feel I wouldn´t be able to say much about it even on my native language. Should I try to make something up? or is it okay if I explain that I know little about that particular theme and try to relate it somehow to a self experience or memory of my own?.
In other words, is it well received if the candidate admits he knows little about the given topic?

Hello adegainza,

The topics on the IELTS are supposed to be topics that anyone can speak about, so, for example, I don't think you'd ever have to speak about trees in a way that requires any kind experience with trees beyond having seen one or even just read about one.

But if somehow you are asked to speak about something you're not familiar with, the best thing is to say what you can about it. This will often be enough. I usually advise my students to avoid making things up, as it can lead to problems, not because you're lying but because it can be more difficult.

You might want to read more about the speaking test on TakeIELTS, where you'll find general information about how it works as well as specific advice on how to prepare for it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

i repeat my Ielts exam for 8 times , although I got good score in speaking and writing I couldnt get an acceptable score in Reading, its really annoying and I dont know what should I do.

Hello mojdeh68,

It's hard for me to give you any specific advice as I don't know your individual strengths and weaknesses. However, I can suggest you take a look at the advice on our site for IELTS candidates: TakeIELTS.

You can find advice on preparation for the exam, and on specific sections, including reading. You can also find practice materials and practice tests with answer keys.

I hope those links are helpful. Good luck!


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

A didactic video.

I am going to take ielts exam on 21th janl. I am in troubles with speaking skill. I do not have partner who is native speakers to practice. It's difficult to correct mistakes and make my voice more naturally.

Hello veera,

The first thing I'd suggest is looking for a course at a British Council Centre if you have one nearby.

In addition, I'd highly recommend visiting TakeIELTS, where you'll find a wealth of information and advice on the test and how to prepare for each section, including speaking. You can also find some general advice on improving your speaking on our Frequently asked questions page, and visiting our Facebook page and our YouTube IELTS channel might also be useful for you.

Good luck!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

we have many negative things to say about our life because in this world it is no so common to happen something special everyday if that happens is once a year, therefore it is easier to talk about negative things, good point in this video, thank you so much

This is great to know since I'm a terrible liar. Haha.

the vedio is useful to me. I think the important thing is have thing to express.